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Chopped Spinach Taco Salad April 5, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in lunch, quick meal, salad, vegetarian.
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I mentioned this salad briefly a few posts back, but since it is my meal at least 3 times a week, I figured it deserved it’s own post!  I make this for lunch a lot, packing all of the ingredients except the salsa, hot sauce, and chips into one container, and then mixing it all together right before I’m ready to eat.  It’s quick, easy, and really, really good.  I usually get three lunches out of one can of black beans.

Chopped Spinach Taco Salad
(serves 2)

chopped spinach taco salad

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed well
Handful of grape tomatoes or one bigger tomato, chopped
1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
1/8 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 salsa
Hot sauce, to taste
Handful of tortilla chips, crunched up

Method:
Chop all of the ingredients, mixing in the salsa, hot sauce, and chips right before serving.

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Spinach and Green Onion Gouda Quiche April 4, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in breakfast, dinner, vegetarian.
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I made a quiche last night that was really, really good, but forgot to take a picture of it!  I usually make a variation of this quiche; this was my first time using gouda and it turned out so nice and creamy.  I had to bake it longer than I had thought I would, and you definitely need to let it set about 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven to contain the creaminess. It’s super delicious.  The recipe comes from Cooking Light, and has been blogged about on one of my go-to food blogs, Culinary in the Desert.  Head over there for a photo and write up!  I highly recommend this for a nice brunch meal or a breakfast-for-dinner night.  I made some oven-roasted potatoes to go alongside it.

Spinach and Green Onion Gouda Quiche

Ingredients:
1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded smoked Gouda cheese (or a little more!)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried basil
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded parmesan for the top of the quiche

Method:
Prepare your filling by heating the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Cook the green onions for a few minutes over medium, until slightly wilted.  Add in the minced garlic and spinach, and continue to cook until the spinach is also slightly wilted.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs, then add the cheese, salt & pepper, basil, and nutmeg. Stir well, and then stir in the spinach mixture.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Top with some shredded parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for at least 35 minutes.  I had to bake mine longer than that—about 45-50 minutes.  Insert a clean knife into the middle to test to see if it’s done—if the filling looks too runny or milky, let it cook a little longer.

Remove from oven and let it set for about 5 minutes before cutting into it.

Crispy Potato Enchiladas April 1, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, good for a group, vegetarian.
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Confession: I have made enchiladas TWICE this week.  On Tuesday, I made a Thai/Mexican fusion version with peanut sauce, red pepper, spinach, and tempeh, and on Thursday, I made a version inspired by Taco Bell. (The peanut enchilada recipe will be up soon; I forgot to take a picture and want to re-make it before I post it here.)

My absolute favorite menu item at Taco Bell is the crispy potato soft taco.  I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I like to get two and slather them with the Taco Bell green sauce packets.

With the Taco Bell soft taco in mind, I created a homemade enchilada version for dinner and it was out of this world!  I made a filling of spiced pan-fried potatoes, chopped spinach, plenty of green onion, tangy green sauce, and shredded cheddar cheese, put it in soft tortillas, and baked it in the oven until the cheese on top was melted and starting to brown.  They were delicious!

Crispy Potato Enchiladas
(Printable Recipe)

potato enchiladas

Ingredients:
2 or 3 medium-to-large potatoes, diced
Olive oil
1.5 tbsp Mexican spices (I used a mixture of Penzey’s southwestern seasoning and some smokey seasoning salt; you could also use some pre-made taco seasoning, or any kind of cumin/chipotle/cayenne mix)
2 cups (or 3 large handfuls) spinach, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
6 8-inch tortillas
10 oz green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (or more, if you like a lot of cheese!)

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Start by washing and dicing the potatoes.  I like to steam my potatoes before I put them in a saute pan to crisp them up, but if you have extra time, you could put them straight in a pan and cook them until soft but crispy.  If you want to go the steam-then-saute route, steam them either in one of those microwave steam bags, or in a steamer basket on the stove.  I usually steam them in the microwave for 5 minutes, then transfer to a pan with a little olive oil and saute them until they get browned and crispy on the outside.  Once you have the potatoes cooking in the pan and they are starting to brown, add the spices and continue to cook over low heat until they are crispy enough for your liking.

With the pan over low heat, add the chopped spinach and green onion to the potatoes.  Stir well, so the spinach and onions will begin to wilt.  Remove from heat.

Prepare your pan by pouring a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan and spreading it around so it just coats the whole pan.  Build your enchiladas one by one:   on each tortilla, spread a little green sauce, top with the potato mixture, sprinkle a little cheese, and roll it up!

potato enchilada filling

Place each rolled-up enchilada seam-side down in the prepared pan.  When all of your enchiladas are in the pan, drizzle the rest of the green sauce on top of them, top that with the rest of the shredded cheese, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and starting to brown.

Remove from oven and let the pan sit a minute or two before attempting to remove the enchiladas.  We topped them with sour cream, hot sauce, and a little cilantro before eating.  Yum!

inside of potato enchilada